Office Of Conservation and Sustainable Development
149 North Stone, 2nd Floor
Tucson, AZ 85701
P.O. Box 27210
Tucson, AZ 85726
Keep fabric softeners out of the wastewater stream. Many liquid fabric softeners contain derivatives of ammonium chloride, which is harmful to some aquatic life and triggers allergy and asthma symptoms. Use ¼ - 1 cup of white vinegar instead; your clothes will be soft (don’t worry, it won’t leave a scent behind!) and you will help keep the environment clean.
Don’t send bleach down the drain. Chlorine laundry bleach breaks down into water, oxygen, and table salt. But, when sent down the drain it can also produce organochlorines, which are suspected carcinogens and reproductive, neurological, and immune system toxins. Good alternatives are non-chlorinated bleaches that use hydrogen peroxide, sodium percarbonate, or sodium perborate.
Keep herbicides and pesticides out of the garden. Squirt weeds with lemon juice or vinegar instead and keep your garden free of toxins.
Choose organic cotton. Pesticides are heavily used on conventionally grown cotton. In California, an average acre of cotton receives 13 pounds of pesticides and herbicides, plus 100s of pounds of synthetic fertilizer. Organic cotton growing does not produce the toxic runoff that results from conventional cotton growing.
Visit the Sustainable Cotton Project or About Organic Cotton to learn more about organic cotton.
Don’t flush medication. According to the EPA, many drugs do not breakdown during the wastewater treatment process, so they can harm fish, contaminate groundwater, and encourage germs to develop drug resistances. Finishing all of a medicine as prescribed by your doctor eliminates the problem of leftover drugs. The City/County Household Hazardous Waste Program will also accept your expired medications.
Unclog your drain without commercial drain cleaners. The acids or lye in commercial drain cleaners don’t belong in wastewater. If a plunger or plumber’s snake doesn’t work, try pouring a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by 3 cups of boiling water. If the water is backed-up, pour a cup of washing soda into the spot over the clog, wait for it to settle, and then use the baking soda process.